[License-review] The Vaccine License

Carlo Piana carlo at piana.eu
Wed Oct 30 07:32:56 UTC 2019

My dear sir, 

I assure yoyu that I am familiar with the code of conduct of many discussion lists, as I am definitely sure you are familiar with the OSD. It is therefore puzzling that  you are investing our collective time by submitting a license that not only discriminates against a group of people, but it is hardly applicable and enforceable, chiefly under privacy and labor laws. While I endorse in the strongest possible way the practice of vaccinating under the local medical authority's recommendations, this incentive does not belong in a copyright license, it belongs in local laws and their enforcement. This has long discussed in endless threads on well-meaning licenses that aimed at promoting law-abiding behavior and "do no harm".

Therefore, excluding ignorance, I believe that is at most an exercise to provoke reactions, rather than a genuine attempt to having a license approved. It is my opinion and I affirm my right to express it. I also believe I have expressed it in a polite form.

Thank you very much,


29 ott 2019 ha scritto:

Hello Mr. Piana,

In preparing this submission, I read the Mailing List Code of Conduct at https://opensource.org/codeofconduct

Please familiarize yourself with it. In the name of getting along, I think it would be best if we all overlooked the tone of your message - this time.

Obviously this is not the first license which dares to ask for something in return, more than just sharing source code of modifications, in exchange for the great work of Open Source developers.

There is a rising sentiment in the Open Source community that we give too much and ask for much too little.

It is time that the OSI board and the members involved in this process acknowledged that. This license seeks to change the balance, in a way that complies with the Open Source Definition, and deals with a real problem everyone should support, rather than asking for money and contaminating the developer process with endless arguments over fairness of compensation, or attempting to stop a war or some other such absurd thing where we would be bound to fail. Vaccination is real, practical, and most people worldwide can get it. And of course it saves lives. It seems very little to ask for, doesn't it?


On Tue, Oct 29, 2019 at 12:56 PM Carlo Piana <carlo at piana.eu> wrote:


Good intent yelds bad licenses and incompliance. I actually campaign pro vax, yet this license is not acceptable in the least bit. I am undecided whether it's a trolling exercise. Probably it is. I must have read of it somewhere else.

I won't insult this list members' intelligence by discussing why.

Please, stop it.



29 ott 2019 ha scritto:

Honored Board Members of the Open Source Initiative and members in the license-review process,

This is a submission for approval as per the license review process documented at  https://opensource.org/approval

Type of submission: Approval

License name: Vaccine License

Text of the license:

The Vaccine License

Version 1.0, October 2019

SPDX: Vaccine-1.0  



Open Source developers should work for good, not evil. The misguided rejection of vaccination is one of the greatest evils that has ever existed. The Vaccine License is a software license that requires that users vaccinate their children, and themselves, and that user businesses make a similar requirement of their employees, to the greatest extent legally possible.

The Vaccine License is derivative of the text of the Apache License, but with significantly modified language and very different effect. The license is reciprocal, and the grant of copyright and patent license rights only applies so long as the user complies with local vaccination recommendations.


1. Definitions.

“License” shall mean the terms and conditions for use, reproduction, and distribution defined by this document.

“Licensor” shall mean the copyright owner or entity authorized by the copyright owner that is granting the License.

“Legal Entity” shall mean the union of the acting entity and all other entities that control, are controlled by, or are under common control with that entity. For the purposes of this definition, “control” means (i) the power, direct or indirect, to cause the direction or management of such entity, whether by contract or otherwise, or (ii) ownership of fifty percent (50%) or more of the outstanding shares, or (iii) beneficial ownership of such entity.

“Source” form shall mean the preferred form for making modifications, including but not limited to software source code, documentation source, and configuration files.

“Object” form shall mean any form resulting from mechanical transformation or translation of a Source form, including but not limited to compiled object code, generated documentation, and conversions to other media types.

“Work” shall mean the work of authorship, whether in Source or Object form, made available under the License, as indicated by a copyright notice that is included in or attached to the work (an example is provided in the Appendix below).

“Derivative Works” shall mean any work, whether in Source or Object form, that is based on (or derived from) the Work and for which the editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications represent, as a whole, an original work of authorship. For the purposes of this License, Derivative Works shall not include works that remain separable from, or merely link (or bind by name) to the interfaces of, the Work and Derivative Works thereof.

“Contribution” shall mean any work of authorship, including the original version of the Work and any modifications or additions to that Work or Derivative Works thereof, that is intentionally submitted to Licensor for inclusion in the Work by the copyright owner or by an individual or Legal Entity authorized to submit on behalf of the copyright owner. For the purposes of this definition, “submitted” means any form of electronic, verbal, or written communication sent to the Licensor or its representatives, including but not limited to communication on electronic mailing lists, source code control systems, and issue tracking systems that are managed by, or on behalf of, the Licensor for the purpose of discussing and improving the Work, but excluding communication that is conspicuously marked or otherwise designated in writing by the copyright owner as “Not a Contribution.“

“Contributor” shall mean Licensor and any individual or Legal Entity on behalf of whom a Contribution has been received by Licensor and subsequently incorporated within the Work.

“Medical Doctor” shall mean a professional who has completed a science-based education in the practice of medicine, and has been licensed or authorized by the government of the place where they practice to be the primary authority to plan and order the medical care that should be provided to a particular patient.

“Vaccine” shall mean a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity to a particular disease, which is prepared, recommended, and administered under the supervision of a Medical Doctor.

“Vaccination” shall mean the administration of vaccine to a patient.

“Local Vaccination Authority” shall mean a government agency tasked with guiding the control of disease by recommending vaccination of persons, which enacts the advice of Medical Doctors. In the United States, this shall be the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, or any successor agency to that one which is given the same task.

“Local Vaccination Recommendations” shall mean recommendations published by the Local Vaccination Authority which recommend vaccines which should be administered to certain persons, on the basis of age, travel destination, occupation, health status, and other factors. An example is “Recommended Vaccines by Age”, which has been published by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Complying Person” shall mean a natural person who, to the extent that they are able to do so, under the direction and care of a Medical Doctor, elects to have administered to themselves and to all legal minors to whom they are parent or guardian all vaccines recommended by their Local Vaccination Recommendations which are appropriate for the patient’s medical condition. This requirement is waived only to the extent that it is not reasonably possible, for example if the person can not afford the vaccine, does not have access to it, or can not make the vaccine decision without the consent of another party which will not agree.

“Complying Legal Entity” shall mean a Legal Entity other than a natural person that, to the greatest extent legally possible in its locality, requires its employees to be Complying Persons. This requirement is waived only to the extent that the government where it is applied would prohibit its application.

“You” (or “Your“) shall mean a Complying Person or Complying Legal Entity exercising permissions granted by this License.

2. Grant of Copyright License. Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, each Contributor hereby grants to You a worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, copyright license to reproduce, prepare Derivative Works of, publicly display, publicly perform and distribute the Work and such Derivative Works in Source or Object form, so long as You remain a Complying Person or Complying Legal Entity.

3. Grant of Patent License. Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, each Contributor hereby grants to You a worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, patent license to make, have made, use, offer to sell, sell, import, and otherwise transfer the Work, where such license applies only to those patent claims licensable by such Contributor that are necessarily infringed by their Contribution(s) alone or by combination of their Contribution(s) with the Work to which such Contribution(s) was submitted, so long as You remain a Complying Person or Complying Legal Entity.

If You institute patent litigation against any entity (including a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit) alleging that the Work or a Contribution incorporated within the Work constitutes direct or contributory patent infringement, then any patent licenses granted to You under this License for that Work shall terminate as of the date such litigation is filed.

4. Redistribution. You may reproduce and distribute copies of the Work or Derivative Works thereof in any medium, with or without modifications, and in Source or Object form, provided that You meet the following conditions:

You must place all Derivative Works under the terms and conditions of this license; and

You must give any other recipients of the Work or Derivative Works a copy of this License; and

You must cause any modified files to carry prominent notices stating that You changed the files; and

You must retain, in the Source form of any Derivative Works that You distribute, all copyright, patent, trademark, and attribution notices from the Source form of the Work, excluding those notices that do not pertain to any part of the Derivative Works; and

If the Work includes a “NOTICE” text file as part of its distribution, then any Derivative Works that You distribute must include a readable copy of the attribution notices contained within such NOTICE file, excluding those notices that do not pertain to any part of the Derivative Works, in at least one of the following places: within a NOTICE text file distributed as part of the Derivative Works; within the Source form or documentation, if provided along with the Derivative Works; or, within a display generated by the Derivative Works, if and wherever such third-party notices normally appear. The contents of the NOTICE file are for informational purposes only and do not modify the License. You may add Your own attribution notices within Derivative Works that You distribute, alongside or as an addendum to the NOTICE text from the Work, provided that such additional attribution notices cannot be construed as modifying the License.

You may add Your own copyright statement to Your modifications.

5. Trademarks. This License does not grant permission to use the trade names, trademarks, service marks, or product names of the Licensor, except as required for reasonable and customary use in describing the origin of the Work and reproducing the content of the NOTICE file.

6. Disclaimer of Warranty. Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, Licensor provides the Work (and each Contributor provides its Contributions) on an “AS IS” BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied, including, without limitation, any warranties or conditions of TITLE, NON-INFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILITY, or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. You are solely responsible for determining the appropriateness of using or redistributing the Work and assumes any risks associated with exercise of permissions under this License.

7. Limitation of Liability. In no event and under no legal theory, whether in tort (including negligence), contract, or otherwise, unless required by applicable law (such as deliberate and grossly negligent acts) or agreed to in writing, shall any Contributor be liable to You for damages, including any direct, indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages of any character arising as a result of this License or out of the use or inability to use the Work (including but not limited to damages for loss of goodwill, work stoppage, computer failure or malfunction, or any and all other commercial damages or losses), even if such Contributor has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

8. Accepting Warranty or Additional Liability. While redistributing the Work or Derivative Works thereof, You may choose to offer, and charge a fee for, acceptance of support, warranty, indemnity, or other liability obligations and/or rights consistent with this License. However, in accepting such obligations, You may act only on Your own behalf and on Your sole responsibility, not on behalf of any other Contributor, and only if You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold each Contributor harmless for any liability incurred by, or claims asserted against, such Contributor by reason of your accepting any such warranty or additional liability.


end of license text.


Open Source software is used to commit all sorts of evil. Open Source developers contribute their work freely to be used in this way. It’s time for Open Source developers to ask for something in return for that work.

But what to ask for? We have chosen vaccination, because the need for it is scientifically verified, because so many people are killed or maimed because their parents deny them vaccination, and because the ignorance that causes rejection of vaccination is an easily-identifiable evil. There are no legal ambiguities where rejection of vaccination is concerned, so it is simple to require it in a license.

The rejection of vaccination is not a distant evil. It is happening right around you. It effects people you care about, but you’re unable to intervene. Or you were, until now.

Here are some expected arguments which might be attempted as justification to reject the Vaccine License. 

Argument: The Vaccine License does not benefit the Open Source Community sufficiently to be adopted as an Open Source License.

Refutation: By improving the physical health of members of the Open Source Community, since it requires that those members get their shots, the Vaccine License is of greater benefit to the community than any other license that simply governs the use, distribution, and modification of software.

Argument: The Vaccine License Violates Article 5 of the Open Source Definition, “No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups”, since it discriminates against anti-vaxers.

Refutation: The text of Article 5 is

The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.

Since any person or group, without exception, may receive a vaccine which is medically appropriate for them, the Vaccine License does not discriminate against any person or group. So-called “anti-vaxxers” identify themselves by their misguided rejection of vaccines, but such rejection is an action rather than membership in a group.

Argument: The Vaccine License Violates Article 6 of the Open Source Definition, “No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor”

Refutation: The text of Article 6 is

The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.

The Vaccine License does not include terms discriminating against any field of endeavor. It only places a requirement upon Complying Legal Entities that, to the greatest extent legally possible, they perform that field of endeavor using Complying Persons as their employees. There is an exception in the Vaccine License if such an action is prohibited by the locality’s law.

Distinguish (from other OSI-approved licenses): There is not a similar license currently approved by the OSI

Legal Review: The license was prepared by a licensing professional. In the client's best interest, the legal review can not be made public. We note that other license submissions have not submitted a detailed legal review.

License proliferation category: This license is not yet popular. It is not duplicative of other licenses.

    Respectfully Submitted

    Filli Liberandum


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